English Usage Topics > Pieces and Amounts
Pieces and Amounts
There are many words which are used in front of of an uncountable noun to refer to a piece of something or a particular amount of something. The most common words are given here.
Some words can be used to refer to a piece or amount of many kinds of substance:
She threw another bit of wood into the fire.
The soup was delicious, with lumps of chicken, and chunks of potato and cabbage.
Some words are used to refer to an amount of a liquid:
Rub a drop of vinegar into the spot where you were stung.
One fireman was kneeling down in a great pool of oil.
Helping, portion, and serving are used when talking about the amount of a particular kind of food that you are given at a meal.
He had two helpings of ice-cream.
I chose a large portion of local salmon.
You can refer to a very small piece of food as a morsel of food.
He had a morsel of food caught between one tooth and another.
Measurements and containers
You can also refer to an amount of something using a measurement noun such as pound or metre, or a noun referring to a container such as bottle or box.
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